Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Summary from Goodreads:

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

I was excited to get into this book for a variety of reasons. First is because of the rave reviews in the blogosphere. Second, this will be my first New Adult Genre read, a genre that they say is the in between of young adult and adult fiction. I've read so much YA that I thought it's high time that I find something closer to me age range. Hee. :)

I admired how simple the story seems and yet there was never a dull moment, it's the dialogue that had me going. The witty, hilarious, and sometimes geeky banter between Julie and Matt and Finn. I also liked the whole dysfunctional family bit and how Julie came to discover, little by little, not only the dysfunctionality of her host family (The Watkins) but that of her family as well. She just jumped from one crazy family only to find herself in another.

While the story has sympathetic characters for the most part, it's the main protagonist that I did not quite like, that much. At first, yeah, I understood Julie's eagerness and excitement to start her college life, but at one point she came across as too eager and too flippant that I wasn't quite convinced that anyone could be this casual and playful especially when she's dealing with serious family matters, not even her own. The other characters, were all fine with me. Matt, is our science geek and our resident stuffy responsible big brother and friend; Finn, our resident thrill seeking, backpacking, fun loving other brother. Celeste, the younger sister is a little bit out of the box. She's one quirky little girl but not less endearing, in fact I found her quite adorable. Erin and Roger, the mother and father, could easily just have been any of the real parents out there, those who love their kids but are clueless on how to responsibly handle them. 

I also give two thumbs up on the romance. No love at first sights or love triangles here. The romantic development was slow and steady. Just how I like it. 

The downside is, I guessed what the major twist was in the story, and it kinda took the element of surprise out of the equation. But still, I was already interested enough in the characters to continue reading and just to find out how they will react to the said major twist / revelation. 

All in all, it was a good first New Adult read but I don't think it will replace my love for YA just yet. Plus it's a little too soon to judge, considering this is just one title among many. It does seem a little like chick lit though. But I welcome recommendations of New Adult Lit so I can give better judgement as to how I like this genre. :)


  1. Cool, I'll also be reading this book after my current read. I'm curious and yet excited on how I'll react to this book. Nice review!

    1. Thanks Rhin! I can't wait to hear what you think about this book! :D

  2. Yep, I guessed the twist before it was revealed but I didn't mind because I was enjoying the book.

    1. Me too Chachic. I wasn't so bummed about the twist, as much as I though I would be, because it was a nice and fun read. I wasn't quite so fond of Julie though. But Matt is cute. Hihi. :D


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